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Congress panel unveils long links

Kojo Annan, oil-for-food documents known for months


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A U.S. congressional panel has had information on Kojo Annan and the oil-for-food program for months.
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Paul Volcker

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- While allegations of cover-ups of the U.N.'s oil-for-food program continue to fly, a congressional panel acknowledged Tuesday it has held for months information on links between U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's son and the oil-for-food program.

Late last week, news media reports revealed that Kojo Annan was receiving monthly payments from a major oil-for-food contractor for years longer than originally acknowledged by the United Nations. (Kofi Annan's reaction)

The payments were being made under a non-compete agreement with Cotecna, a company that held the contract to inspect goods entering Iraq under the oil-for-food program, according to the United Nations and Cotecna.

A U.S. congressional subcommittee Tuesday said that information surfaced from documents it was given months ago by Cotecna.

It was only after the story broke in press reports that congressional investigators for the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations combed their documents from Cotecna and found they had the information on monthly payments.

A congressional source said, "We got the documents from Cotecna about Kojo several months ago. It's been a slog to go through."

That source also said there were many more documents yet to be read.

A statement from the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations said: "Further review of the material provided to the subcommittee by Cotecna Inspections S.A. indicates the company had provided full information on monthly payments to Kojo Annan."

Investigators will examine those payments for any illicit links.

The statement also said Cotecna has "complied with the subpoena for all documents relevant to our investigation."


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